about b-to-b Web site's success
April 24, 2000
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
is one of an ongoing series on interactive marketing leaders who
are doing things other marketers can learn from. They are not
yet household names, but the executives we profile are laboring
in the trenches today and will be in the headlines tomorrow. They're
the emerging leaders of an emerging marketing discipline.
rank and serial number: Sherry Sigler, 42, senior director
of marketing for
e-Steel. B.S. in Journalism, University of Southern California.
Joined ad agencies Hill, Holliday and Ogilvy & Mather in account
management, working on Hyatt, Reebok and American Express. Prior
to joining e-Steel, worked client side for J. Crew and Princeton
Review Inc. Served as marketing consultant to magazines Fast Company,
BusinessWeek, ESPN and U.S. News & World Report.
"Don't do anything halfway. If you're going to go, go big."
Ambition: "Long before women were actually in sports
broadcasting, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster, the first female
voice of the Dodgers. (But I) decided advertising was the place
to use my communication background."
she got involved with the Internet: "I spent much
of my early career focused on the youth market, (and I) got recruited
to head marketing at the Princeton Review (test preparation company).
We were one of the first 200 corporate entities on the Web."
Review famously registered the name of its chief competitor, Kaplan
Inc.-a wholly-owned subsidiary of Washington Post Co.-as a Web
site. "We were early in understanding the Internet and the
technology behind it. We wanted to see how long it would take
Kaplan to figure it out." Kaplan sued, and Sigler says Princeton
Review gave up the URL "for a case of beer or something like
joining e-Steel: "I met Michael Levin, our CEO,
founder and chairman. I'd been reading about business-to-business
being the next great wave of the Internet. I was intrigued after
reading; I was sold after talking to Michael.
this was the front row of business-to-business on the Internet.
I knew it was going to be big. I don't just like winning the race-I
like setting the records."
arrival at e-Steel: "I knew exactly what I had to
do: create the buzz.
thought that PR builds the fire, and advertising and marketing
fan the flames. You need awareness and credibility."
companies build that through press coverage: "With
business-to-business, the journalists can't always see what you're
doing. We don't give out passwords unless you're a buyer or seller
of steel, so you have to get the industry watchers-the Gartners
and the Forresters-into the loop. We got a lot of good feedback
because the journalists were in touch with the leading industry
the cultural difference in b-to-b vs. b-to-c: "More
gray hair, yet it's bolted to the Internet. B-to-c tends to be
(people in their) 20s and early 30s. They all drink beer together,
watch sports together. They all have the same music habits. There's
more of a generational mix in b-to-b."
is a partner with Diamond Technology Partners in Chicago.
He can be reached at email@example.com.